Champion, Joseph

, a celebrated English penman, was born at Chatham in 1709, and received his education chiefly under Snell, who kept sir John Johnson’s free writing-school in Foster-lane, Cheapside, and with whom he served a regular clerkship, he kept a boarding-school in St. Paul’s church-yard, and taught many of the nobility and gentry privately. He was several years settled in the New academy, in Bed ford -street, where he had a good number of scholars, whom he instructed with great success; and he has not hitherto been excelled in his art. The | year of his death we cannot precisely ascertain. His first performance appears to have been his “Practical Arithmetic,1733, 8vo; and in 1747 he published his “Tutor’s assistant in teaching arithmetic,” in 40 plates, 4to. But his most elaborate and curious performance is his “Comparative Penmanship,” 24 oblong folio plates, 1750. It is engraved by Thorowgood, and is an honour to British penmanship in general. His “New and complete alphabets,” with the Hebrew, Greek, and German characters, in 21 plates oblong folio, engraved by Bickham, came out in 1754, and in 1758 he began to publish his “Livinghands,” or several copy-books of the different hands in common use, upwards of 40 plates, 4to. He contributed 47 folio pieces for Bickham’s “Universal Penman,” in which he displays a beautiful variety of writing, both for use and ornament. His principal pieces besides are “Engrossing hands for young clerks,1757. “The young Penman’s practice,1760. “The Penman’s employment,” folio, 1759—1762. In 1754 he addressed and presented to the Royal Society a large body of penmanship, in 20 leaves, folio, which remains in ms. 1


Wassey’s Origin *nd Progress of Letters.